Your Church Wedding
Congratulations on your forthcoming Wedding. Please be assured of our prayers as you prepare for your ‘big day’.
There was a change in the Law in May 2021, which relates particularly to the Registration of Marriages. This has now been digitised, which means we no longer sign Marriage Registers in Church and you will need to obtain your Marriage Certificate from the Registry Office1 that serves the area you live in.
Preliminaries to the Wedding – the legal requirements
Normally, weddings are conducted ‘under Banns’ if you have a ‘qualifying connection’2 to one of our parishes. Banns are published (read) for 3 consecutive Sundays in the 3-month period leading up to your Wedding Day.
In some circumstances, you may need to obtain the Bishop’s Licence or Superintendent Registrar’s Certificate to marry: this applies when one of the parties to the marriage is not a UK citizen. We can advise you how to proceed if this applies to you.
If both of you are UK citizens, we will need to see and copy proof of nationality (passport, driving licence or birth certificate) when booking in your wedding. We ask for a deposit of £50 at this stage, to secure the date, which will be deducted from the final fee (currently £495.00). If one (or both) of you lives outside our Benefice3, your Banns will also need to be read in your home parish and a certificate issued, which also attracts a small fee.
Talking of costs: you will need to factor in the cost of an organist, if required, up to £125.
Getting to know you
Having run through the legal requirements and most of the costs, now comes the important stuff. We are really looking forward to meeting you and planning your Wedding service together. The Church of England has a very good website, helping you to think through music, readings etc: www.yourchurchwedding.org
We would hope to meet with you both soon after your initial enquiry, once you have set your date. That gives us all plenty of time to think about numbers of guests, parking, music, organist, flowers, bells (where available)…
- Registry Offices: For Norfolk: Norwich, Thetford, Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn. Call 0344 800 8020. Link for more information: https://www.gov.uk/marriages-civil-partnerships
- Qualifying connections:
One (or both) of you has lived in one of our parishes for at least six months.
One (or both) of you was baptised (christened) in one of our parish churches.
One (or both) of you was prepared for confirmation in one of our parishes.
One (or both) of you have regularly attended church services in one of our churches for at least 6 months.
That one of your parents, at any time after you were born:
has lived in the parish for at least 6 months, or
has regularly gone to church services in the parish for at least 6 months.
That one of your parents or grandparents was married in one of our churches.
- Heart of Norfolk Churches: Bawdeswell, Billingford (not available for weddings), Bintree (not available for weddings), Foulsham, Foxley, Guestwick, Guist, North Elmham, Stibbard, Themelthorpe, Twyford, Wood Norton, Worthing.
With our prayers and blessings as you prepare for your Wedding.
After your wedding
Marriage Document - Please double check this with your Vicar and make sure that all signatures of witnesses have in pencil in the margin a clear representation of them. If there are any errors they need to be sorted before you send them to the Registrars.
Marriage Cerficiate - Don't forget to request a copy of your Marriage Certificate.
Go to the Norfolk County Council - Copy Certificates page. You will need to Register on their site, the cost is £11.00 and may take 15 days to come by 2nd Class post.
There is an urgent process costing £35.00 and if ordered by 3pm they will be hopefully delivered by 1st Class post the next day.